The group directing all known U.S. search efforts for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is winding down operations without finding proof that President Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms, according to participants.
The 75th Exploitation Task Force, as the group is formally known, has been described from the start as the principal component of the U.S. plan to discover and display forbidden Iraqi weapons. The group’s departure, expected next month, marks a milestone in frustration for a major declared objective of the war.
This means that I was wrong about something, and time will tell which one. Here is the list of choices (and note they are not necessarily mutually exclusive):
1.) The abundance of WMD in Iraq- I thought the place was going to be littered with CHem/Bio, and I felt relatively sure that we would easily find plans and paperwork that would lead towards development of nuclear weapons. This simply did not materialzie, despite the fact that here and there have been found certain such items, the empty battlefield was not littered with cannisters as I expected it would be.
2.) The ease with which we would find the WMD, or alternatively phrased, the laziness of the regime in covering its tracks. There is no doubt there were WMD in Iraq- that much has been proven (they were there in 1998- what happened to them). I feel confident they would still be there and we would find them. I did not think, as has been suggested, that the regime would go to the fforts they have to hide them or to move them out of country (provided they did- as I stated, time will tell). So far, I have been wrong.
3.) The main thing I was wrong about, however, was that I was convinced WMD would be used in combat. I never said so out loud or blogged about it, because I was half-afraid it would happen, and I did NOT want to be right about that. I am glad I am wrong about this one.
4.) The sophistication of the regime. I was very surrprised that of the few WMD or WMD labs that were found, one was mobile. I always believed that the labs would be underground, fixed, and primitive, with poor security and precaution. I thought the “mobile’ labs was just spin- something that could help to explain why it was so difficult to find the WMD. Turns out, they were more sophisticated than I thought, and that is one of the few things we have found.
All in all, does this failure to find the amounts of WMD make me change my mind about supporting the war. Not one bit, at this point.